Tomorrow is the day to celebrate our Mothers, the maternal figure who brings life, gives love, guides us on our way. This is a day of conflicting emotions for me. In many ways, it is wonderful. I am very fortunate to have my own children, who are the light of my life. They make me laugh, smile, and swell with pride. I never have enough time with them, they will never be too big for me to spoil, take care of, or nurture. I know that I over compensate in so many ways with them, and that too, is alright. I am nurturing myself when I do this for them. I am, in many ways, healing my inner child.
My own mother did not care for me much. I suppose that is the very kind way of putting this. It was announced to my Maternal Grandmother one day, "You take her. I have a son now, I have no use for her." My father had been stationed in Thailand, as it was 1966, and my brother had just been born. A son. Ah....a son. The great accomplishment. My mother then began her "nervous breakdown" years. My father had a box of chocolates sent to her, after the birth of my brother, and I, being an inquisitive child at the tender age of 2 1/2, saw the enticing chocolates on the counter. Wanting them, of course, I reached my chubby hands up, pulled the edge of the box, and of course, they all tumbled down over my head onto the floor. My mother was horrified. In her fit of furious anger, she yelled, grabbed me by my neck and held me until I turned a "curious shade of blue". (Her words, during the many times she chose to tell this story, mostly at holiday dinners). She then dropped me, and I ran, terrified, screaming, and hid in a closet, where I refused to come out, for over an hour. It was then she decided she could use some tranquilizers.
Over the years, our relationship never quite improved. When I was five, she became enraged at the attention I received from my father, and took a pair of scissors and chopped off all of my hair, which at the time, was down to my waist. This was amusing to her. When I was 9, she decided that I "suffered" from severe leg pains, and took me to the doctor, who prescribed pain medicine, which of course, she took for herself. When I was 13, she told me the hair growing on my arms made me "look like a man", and began a strange ritual of making me sit at her feet, while she took a comb and scissors and began a ritual of cutting the hair on my arms until it suited her liking. When I was 16, she told me that my legs were quite attractive, and now maybe, just maybe, yes, maybe I should start dating my fathers friend, who worked with him on base, in the same shop. I could continue, but I guess the defining moment, was standing in front of her, with two black eyes, a broken rib, and my 5 year old son, crying at my side. Her words, "You WILL bail him out right now, or I WILL evict you and these damn kids from this house and put you on the street!". Me, "No, I didn't put him in jail to bail him out." Her, "Penny, it's better to learn to get hit in the face, than to cut your income in half." Me, "Fuck you."
I eventually lost track and count...I have no idea how many years went by that we didn't speak. I saw her a few months before she died. She suffered. She suffered quite a bit. I didn't want her too. People always tell me that I will heal, that it's okay, but the truth is, I forgave her. The truth is, I let it go. My healing came sometime ago. I found strength over the last few years that I never knew I had. I have always had so many "adopted" kids. I always had stragglers here and there. I love taking care of "lost souls" I know what it is like. I know what it is like to be cast away like yesterdays garbage. I have spent endless conversations telling my own kids that I won't ever do that to them. I don't care if they smear themselves in peanut butter, and go dancing down the street in a clown outfit....I really don't care. If they are happy, and they aren't hurting anyone, I will love and support them.
I guess my message is this....If you are one of those very lucky and fortunate few who has a loving and wonderful mother, hug her. Love her. Tell her how much she matters to you. Let me make this clear. Money is bullshit....it DOESN'T MATTER. Presents DON'T MATTER. If you are that superficial that you need that....to hell with you. You have no idea how luck you are to have a person in your life who loves and cares for you. To have someone who listens, who loves, who is there to care, support, to just sit there and be with you. Damn....have you any idea? I do...because I didn't have it.